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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How do you avoid a medicinal taste when using ginnger in a beer
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:48 AM   #1
rgalbin
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Default How do you avoid a medicinal taste when using ginnger in a beer

Many home made ginger beers that I have tasted have had medicinal flavor
Some have not and the brewers I have talked to do not know why they had it or how the avoided it.

The commercial ones I have tasted have not had this flavor just the spicy after taste.

Does anyone have a thought??

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Old 02-27-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
Piotr
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I don't think it comes from ginger. Medicinal flavours have two sources:

- chemical imputities - residuals of bleach (or sth. similar) in fermenter - smells more like a hospital
- bacterial or wild yeast infection - smells more like a dentist

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Old 02-27-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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I am not using the right term then. Between the initial general spicy flavor you get with a ginger and the final lingering bite there is another flavor that dominates the middle to end of the taste in many home made ginger beers and not in commercial ones. I have not tasted in any other beer and the beers seem clean an well constructed other than that so I do not think it is a cleanliness issue.

The best advice I have gotten so far is to go very light or mask it with orange or some other spice.....which begs the question.

I thought it might have been that they left some of the bark on the root but that does not seem to be the case. I am wondering if it is a freshness thing or a kind of ginger root thing or whether it is process issue - Include it in the mashing but not the boil - only leave it in for a short period of time but use more and add it after the boil or at the end of the boil.

One of the reasons that ginger is so linked with beer (even though it is not so used today is because it contains enzyme that can help break down starches in beer. So before Amalayse (sp) and light toasting was possible it helped boost alcoholic yield.
(I am into trying to recreate some of the flavor components of older beers )

Actually I am wondering if that is it- people are including in the boil or too long in the soak too long and some of the woody components of the root are being transferred along with spicy notes.(In home beer making and all ale making before the introduction of hops there was no post mash boil just cool the beer down and let the indigenous yeasts find the food source)

Any thoughts? If not at least that seem reasonable enough to try

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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I made a gingerbread beer this past holiday season that i think came out pretty well...one of my favorites that i have made. i used a generous amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. for the ginger, i used crystallized instead of fresh and put it in the secondary...none in the boil. not sure if it would be the flavor you were looking for, but i sure liked it...

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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I put mine in the boil and it really takes some time (weeks/months) for the ginger bite to subside.

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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to me ginger in beer smells more like lavender...

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Old 02-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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Ive found that roasting the ginger mellows the slight bitter piney bite fresh ginger has.

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Old 02-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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How long do you roast it and do you skin and slice it first or grill the whole thing. (All the other input is great as well.) The description of some kinds of lavander and a Piney /bitter woody note may be what I am trying to avoid

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Old 02-28-2009, 01:49 AM   #9
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I leave the skin on that way any burning or browning occurs on the skin which is discarded later so you don't get any strange flavors. I don't know how long I roast it for, I do it at 350f until its softer and the smell is sweet kind of an intuition based judgment I guess. its similar to the way people roast pumpkin for pumpkin beers, roasting mellows certain flavors and makes it taste sweeter creating caramel which leaves residual sweetness after fermentation.

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Old 02-28-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
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medicinal can kind of encompass a lot of flavors... menthol? cough syrup? bandaids? sterilizer?

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